JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when traveling.


Last additions - Kora 甲良町
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Nov 04, 2021
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Red maples towering above.Nov 04, 2021
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Tree rootsNov 04, 2021
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Horai-tei GardenNov 04, 2021
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About Horai-tei Garden.Nov 04, 2021
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Green pine tree.Nov 04, 2021
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Red maple leaves.Nov 04, 2021
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"Ever-blooming" cherry tree (fudan-zakura) in autumn.Nov 04, 2021
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"Ever-blooming" cherry tree (fudan-zakura) in autumn.Nov 04, 2021
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"Ever-blooming" cherry tree (fudan-zakura) planted next to a tree showing fall colors. This special cherry tree blooms in Nov. during the fall colors. 不断桜Nov 04, 2021
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About the "ever-blooming" cherry tree (fudan-zakura).Nov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji's three-story pagoda, a National Treasure.Nov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji temple bell accented with red maples.Nov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji temple bellNov 04, 2021
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Water basinNov 04, 2021
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Water basinNov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji Temple Hondo hall (National Treasure)Nov 04, 2021
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View from Saimyoji Temple Hondo hall (National Treasure).Nov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji Temple Hondo hall (National Treasure)Nov 04, 2021
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In 1571, Oda Nobunaga ordered Saimyoji to be burned down right after torching Enryakuji on Mt. Hiei. Fortunately, this Kamakura-Period main hall and the pagoda survived. Nov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji Temple Hondo hall (National Treasure)Nov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji Temple Hondo hall (National Treasure)Nov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji Temple Hondo hall (National Treasure)Nov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji Temple Hondo hall (National Treasure)Nov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji Temple Hondo hall (National Treasure)Nov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji Temple Hondo hall (National Treasure).Nov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji Temple Hondo hall (National Treasure)Nov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji Temple Hondo hall (National Treasure)Nov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji Temple Hondo hall (National Treasure)Nov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji Temple Hondo hall (National Treasure) in Kora, Shiga. 本堂Nov 04, 2021
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Nitenmon Gate (rear).Nov 04, 2021
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Niten godNov 04, 2021
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Niten godNov 04, 2021
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About the Niten gods guarding the gate.Nov 04, 2021
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Nitenmon Gate has small waraji straw sandals. Coins stuck in the sandals.Nov 04, 2021
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Nitenmon Gate.Nov 04, 2021
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Nitenmon Gate.Nov 04, 2021
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Nitenmon Gate to main temple (Hondo).Nov 04, 2021
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Wedded cedar trees.Nov 04, 2021
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Wedded cedar trees.Nov 04, 2021
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Wedded cedar trees.Nov 04, 2021
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So beautiful in autumn!Nov 04, 2021
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Miniature KannonNov 04, 2021
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11-faced Kannon statueNov 04, 2021
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Stairs to autumn heaven. Up to here, the path was just filled with colors. And more still awaited.Nov 04, 2021
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Saimyoji's autumn highlight is its stunning path to the temple.Nov 04, 2021
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The path was a stunning showcase for autumn foilage.Nov 04, 2021
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Crossing the Meishin expressway. There's a bridge over a busy and noisy expressway which you cross to get to the other side of the temple grounds.Nov 04, 2021
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Front gate. This is where you pay the admission fee.Nov 04, 2021
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Colorful autumn path to Saimyoji Temple.Nov 04, 2021
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In mid-November, a shuttle bus runs to Saimyoji and two other temples of the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio of Tendai temples. All three are famous for fall foliage.The shuttle bus starts from Hikone Station, west exit.Nov 04, 2021
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Established in 834 and located in Kora-cho town, Saimyoji is a Tendai Buddhist temple and the northern-most one in the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio. The main temple hall, designated as Japan's first National Treasure, houses statues of gods with a carving of the 12 Oriental Zodiac signs on the head. Accessible by bus from Amago Station on the Omi Railway Line.Nov 04, 2021
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My YouTube video of the Takatora Summit in Kora.Jun 06, 2010
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Kora ShrineJun 01, 2010
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Walking around Zaiji is quite pleasant. Rural area with traditional-style homes. The murmuring of streams is everywhere.Jun 01, 2010
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Kora Shrine Honden is another Kora Shrine. Also called Hoyoji temple. The Honden main hall was repaired by Kora Bungo-no-Kami Munehiro.Jun 01, 2010
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Sightseeing map of Kora-cho.Jun 01, 2010
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Kora Town Hall. MAPJun 01, 2010
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About Kora Bungo-no-Kami Munehiro.Jun 01, 2010
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Local museum dedicated to Kora Bungo-no-Kami Munehiro. Unfortunately, the museum was closed when I was there. It's open only once or twice a week or so.Jun 01, 2010
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Near Kora Town Hall is this statue of Kora Bungo-no-Kami Munehiro (1574-1646). Born here, he started a famous lineage of shrine/temple carpenters. 甲良豊後守宗廣 MAPHe supervised the construction of many famous buildings.Jun 01, 2010
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In 1604 at age 30, the Tokugawa government called him to Edo to supervise the building of Zojoji temple (where many Tokugawa shoguns are buried). He also supervised the building of the famous Toshogu Shrine in Nikko. This same statue is at Toshogu Shrine.Jun 01, 2010
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Stone lanterns with the Todo family crest.Jun 01, 2010
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Statue of Lord Todo Takatora who became lord of Tsu Castle in Mie.Jun 01, 2010
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Local sightseeing map in stone.Jun 01, 2010
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Kora town manhole with a wisteria design taken from Zaiji Hachiman Shrine, Shiga Pref.Jun 01, 2010
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About Zaiji Hachiman Shrine in Japanese and English.Jun 01, 2010
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Large stone Lord Takatora once transported to rebuild Osaka Castle. It was abandoned in Kiso River. Called the "Consolation Stone." 残念石Jun 01, 2010
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A short walk from Zaiji Hachiman Shrine is Takatora Park, dedicated to Zaiji's most famous son, Lord Todo Takatora who became lord of Tsu Castle in Mie. MAPJun 01, 2010
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Zaiji Hachiman Shrine's Haiden Hall.Jun 01, 2010
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Zaiji Hachiman Shrine's Honden main hall.Jun 01, 2010
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Zaiji Hachiman Shrine's Honden main hall.Jun 01, 2010
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Zaiji Hachiman Shrine also has wisteria which bloom in early May. Planted by Todo Kagemori, the founder of the Todo clan in the 14th century.Jun 01, 2010
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Torii gate to Zaiji Hachiman Shrine in Kora, Shiga.Jun 01, 2010
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Zaiji Hachiman Shrine, the family shrine of the Todo clan. This place in Zaiji (Kora, Shiga) was Lord Todo Takatora's birthplace. Takatora later became lord of Tsu Castle in Mie Prefecture. MAPJun 01, 2010
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Azalea and streamJun 01, 2010
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Zaiji has numerous little streams along the roads and houses. You often see flowering plants decorating the streams. It is one of the town's symbols.Jun 01, 2010
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Zaiji is about a 20-min. walk from Amago Station. Quaint general store in Zaiji. Looks like Japan from the 1950s or '60s.Jun 01, 2010
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Dig this van with a ninja on top.Jun 01, 2010
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The festivities and summit ended at 6:30 pm.Jun 01, 2010
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Capping the day's events was the Takatora Taiko troupe from Tsu. 高虎太鼓Jun 01, 2010
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Ninja showJun 01, 2010
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A ninja show performed by an Iga-ryu ninja trouope called Kurondo from Iga, Mie. 黒党Jun 01, 2010
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The keynote speaker was Abe Ryutaro, a novelist who wrote a novel about Takatora. Some people hope that his novel will be turned into a TV drama series. 安部龍太郎Jun 01, 2010
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Afterward, they played traditional games.Jun 01, 2010
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At 3 pm, the keynote speaker gave a talk about Takatora.Jun 01, 2010
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Before schools were established in Japan, the temples served as educational institutions for the children. 浄覚寺 寺子屋の再現Jun 01, 2010
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Terakoya session at Jogakuji temple. There was a storyteller, kami-shibai, and traditional games for kids.Jun 01, 2010
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Jogakuji temple of the Jodo Shinshu Sect held a terakoya session. A short walk from Takatora Park. 浄覚寺Jun 01, 2010
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At 2 pm, the "Summit" was held on stage.Jun 01, 2010
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They drummed on the giant taiko.Jun 01, 2010
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Cute warriorJun 01, 2010
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Mayors and other dignitaries look forward to the next Takatora Summit at Iga-Ueno Castle. Each city take turns hosting the summit held every two years. The last time Kora hosted it was in 2000.Jun 01, 2010
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Mayors vow to meet at the next Takatora Summit.Jun 01, 2010
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Takatora Summit in Kora, ShigaJun 01, 2010
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Samurai procession on stage.Jun 01, 2010
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They wear home-made armor.Jun 01, 2010
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Toramaru from Tsu, Mie.Jun 01, 2010
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Shiromochi-kun from Tsu. シロモチくんJun 01, 2010
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Hiko-nyanJun 01, 2010
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Mochi-tsuki.Jun 01, 2010
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Tora-nyan, Kora's official mascot.Jun 01, 2010
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Shrine maiden mascot from Taga, Shiga.Jun 01, 2010
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Hikone's Hiko-nyan also made it to the summit. Hikone is Kora's the neighboring city.Jun 01, 2010
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By coincidence, I've been to all these castles related to Takatora.Jun 01, 2010
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Toramaru from Tsu, Mie. 藤堂とらまるJun 01, 2010
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Ninta and Shinobu ninja mascots from Iga. Iga-Ueno Castle was renovated by Takatora who constructed high castle walls. にん太・しのぶJun 01, 2010
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From Kameyama, Kyoto. Kameyama Castle was built by Akechi Mitsuhide and Takatora contributed to later construction. Only castle walls and moats remain. Now occupied by a religious group.Jun 01, 2010
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Non-chan is a horse from Imabari. Imabari Castle was built by Takatora. のんちゃんJun 01, 2010
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Each mascot was introduced in detail by its handler.Jun 01, 2010
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Mayor's representative from Imabari, Ehime.Jun 01, 2010
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Mayor of Tsu, Mie Prefecture. Tsu Castle was built by Takatora.Jun 01, 2010
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Mayor of Iga, Mie.Jun 01, 2010
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About 10 mascot characters were introduced on stage.Jun 01, 2010
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The MC was Kayme, radio personality from from FM Shiga (e-radio). She introduced the names of all the mascots on stage. ケイミーJun 01, 2010
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Statue of Takatora in a pond at Takatora Park.Jun 01, 2010
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Takatora Park was the main venue for the Takatora Summit. The first program started at 11 am and they introduced official mascots from Takatora-related cities.Jun 01, 2010
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Banner reads "Birthtplace of Lord Todo Takatora."Jun 01, 2010
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Takatora Park was decorated with these banners.Jun 01, 2010
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Day's schedule.Jun 01, 2010
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Sculptures made of styrofoam.Jun 01, 2010
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More booths.Jun 01, 2010
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Sightseeing pamphlets from all the Takatora-related cities who came.Jun 01, 2010
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This was good, from Kora.Jun 01, 2010
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Todo Takatora sake.Jun 01, 2010
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Iga's booth.Jun 01, 2010
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This booth was from Iga, Mie Prefecture.Jun 01, 2010
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The shrine's Haiden Hall was used as an entertainment stage during the Takatora Summit in Kora.Jun 01, 2010
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The road near Takatora Park was lined with souvenir booths and food stalls.Jun 01, 2010
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The road from Hachiman Shrine to Takatora Park. Another giant taiko drum.Jun 01, 2010
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Zaiji Hachiman Shrine also offered a rest place where tea and sweets were served.Jun 01, 2010
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Zaiji was the former Todo village (藤堂村). Lord Todo Takatora was a famous daimyo who was expert at building castles. He had a hand in building castles in Tsu, Kameyama, Imabari, Edo, and more.Jun 01, 2010
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A giant taiko drum was also on display at the shrine.Jun 01, 2010
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The beautiful wisteria was in full bloom. The name "Todo" includes the kanji character for "fuji" or wisteria. 藤Jun 01, 2010
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Torii to Zaiji Hachiman Shrine, the birthplace of Todo Takatora (1556-1630). Since 1998, the Takatora Summit has been held once every two years in one of four places (Kora, Tsu and Iga in Mie, and Imabari, Ehime) having a close connection with Takatora.Jun 01, 2010
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